Earthing-up operation is also known as "hilling-up". This operation is carried out in two or three stages.The first earthing-up operation is known partial earthing-up and the second/third operation is known as "full earthing-up".
The partial earthing-up is done at 45 days after planting. In partial earthing-up, little amount of soil from either side of the furrow is taken and placed around the base of the shoots. While doing partial earthing-up, the furrow in which the cane row is present gets partially filled-up.
Full earthing-up is done after 120 days after planting coinciding with the peak tiller population stage. During full earthing-up the soil from the ridge in between is fully removed and placed near the cane on either side. This operation converts the furrows into ridges and ridges into furrows.This operation could be done either manually or by using a bullock-drawn/tractor drawn furrower depending upon the spacing adopted. (In the picture: Earthing up or hilling up by machinery)
Full earthing-up at the end of formative phase (i.e., 120 DAP) checks further tillering, provides sufficient soil volume for root proliferation, promotes better soil aeration and provides a sound anchorage or support to the crop and thus preventing lodging.
One more earthing-up after cane population is stabilized at 180 DAP may be helpful in preventing lodging and water shoots formation. It also improves aeration and helps to control weeds.